Paralegal and Legal Studies
Welcome! We are delighted that you are thinking about becoming a paralegal and are considering MCC to help you reach your goal. Our Advising Guide has details about all three of our program options, and about the profession in general.
MCC offers the only paralegal program in Middlesex County approved by the American Bar Association. We are also a member of the Massachusetts Paralegal Association, the Paralegal Association of New Hampshire, and the American Association for Paralegal Education.
For more information please contact the program coordinator, Halye Sugarman.
The paralegal program consists of these three distinct paths:
- The post-graduate Paralegal Certificate is perfect for someone with a prior degree who is either looking for a career change, or who wants to compliment their existing knowledge. It consists of 27 credits (9 courses) and is focused only on legal courses. Although it is not required for certificate students, you are encouraged to take either the paralegal internship or the law office management simulation course as one of your courses in order to increase your chances of finding employment in the field. It is possible to take up to 5 of the 9 courses entirely online, though not all courses are offered in every semester.
- You must already have either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in any subject area in order to enter the paralegal certificate program. Students who have started or completed an advanced degree of any kind are also welcome. We have had students from the fields such as music, business, education, and the health professions join us, as well as prospective law students.
- The Associate in Science, Liberal Studies – Paralegal Career track is appropriate for a student who does not have a prior degree and who wants to move into a paralegal career right after graduating from MCC. It is a two year program of 60 credits (20 courses) that includes both paralegal and liberal arts courses. There is an internship requirement for this program option that requires students to work in a paralegal placement during daytime hours in the fall or spring as well as attend a weekly seminar. For those students who are not available during daytime hours to take an internship we also offer an alternative law office management simulation course in the evenings, typically over the summer.
- The Associate in Science, Liberal Studies – Paralegal Transfer track is appropriate for a student who plans to transfer and continue his or her education after graduating from MCC, rather than entering the paralegal workforce. The program also meets the new Mass Transfer requirements which facilitates transferring to a state school. You can transfer to any 4-year college from either of our A.S. degree options, but the Mass Transfer program has tuition benefits attached. See www.mass.edu/masstransfer for more information on this option. It is a two year program of 60 credits (20 courses) that includes both paralegal and liberal arts courses.
All paralegal program options include courses listed as both PAR (Paralegal) and LGL (Legal Studies) in the college catalog. The distinction is important. PAR courses are more appropriate for paralegal students, while LGL courses are appropriate for students regardless of their program.
PAR (Paralegal) Courses - Practical Paralegal Skills
Courses listed as PAR are paralegal courses that have been specifically developed for students in the paralegal program in order to "emphasize practical paralegal skills," as required by the American Bar Association's Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. Students who do not plan to be in the paralegal program should contact the program coordinator before registering for a PAR course. Most PAR courses are not appropriate for students in other programs.
LGL (Legal Studies) Courses - General Education
Courses listed as LGL are legal studies courses that have been specifically developed to meet the college's general education requirements. LGL courses are appropriate students from any program, and are a great way for students to explore an interest in the law. Most LGL courses include a mix of paralegal students and students from other programs.
Apply now! Every academic year, three scholarships in amounts up to $2,000 each are available from the Muriel G. Hervey Memorial Scholarship fund for selected Paralegal students who have completed at least three paralegal courses. The MCC Foundation web site will have details when they become available. Other scholarships may also be available that you should look into, both inside and outside of the college, such as this scholarship from the Paralegal Association of New Hampshire.